NWS to Test Snow Squall Warnings This Winter

State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) Chairman Gary Blievernicht (WKAR-TV/East Lansing) has announced that the National Weather Service (NWS) will be testing/evaluating Snow Squall Warnings this coming winter.   Stations are encouraged to consider airing the SVS-coded tests this winter as a part of a project coming from the NWS Detroit office.

The test coverage area includes:

  • Midland Bay Huron
  • Saginaw Tuscola Sanilac
  • Shiawassee Genessee Lapeer St. Clair
  • Livingston Oakland Macomb
  • Washtenaw Wayne
  • Lenawee Monroe

The Snow Squall Warning will be issued based on….

  1. Visibility less than 1/2 mile.
  2. Sub-freezing ambient road temperatures (or plunging temperatures that would produce a flash freeze).
  3. Wind gusts 20 mph or more.
  4. Forecaster judgement of impact, i.e. clear evidence that a snow squall could lead to dangerous conditions and possible multi-car accident (pileup) when one of the above criterion isn’t quite met.

Additional details:

  • The test will likely start somewhere between December 1 and 8.
  • The text product will be ARBSQWDTX with a WMO ID of WWUS51 KDTX.
  • The VTEC (and thus, eventually the WEA code) will be SQ.W.
  • The EAS code that will be used is SVS. This will come from the NOAA Weather Radio SAME.
  • The NWS has never used an EAS code SVS.
  • The NWS will not use the SVS EAS code for any follow up statements for TO.W or SV.W (tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings).
  • The text will have “Bulletin – EAS Activation Requested.”

As this is mostly a life threatening travel issue, stations in the Southeast, East Central and Lenawee/Washtenaw local EAS groups pass this information along from NWS to LPs to all radio stations.

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